"While Asia and the Pacific is increasingly facing a major water crisis, we see unacceptable levels of water being lost through leaks and inefficiencies," said Bindu Lohani, ADB's Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. "By cutting the amount of lost water in half, 150 million people could be supplied with treated water."
ADB estimates that 29 billion cubic meters of water is lost each year in the region -- enough to fill more than 11 million Olympic-sized swimming pools -- causing Asia's water utilities to lose more than $9 billion in revenue each year.
By examining eight of the best-performing water utilities in Asia, Good Practices in Urban Water Management concludes that a low rate of unaccounted for water (UFW) is critical for efficient service delivery. While current UFW levels in the region are as high as 60%, an UFW level of less than 20% is a realizable goal. In fact, it notes that Phnom Penh managed to bring its lost water rate down to just 6% in 2008.
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